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Old 04-13-2016, 09:17 PM
joema joema is offline
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Nashville, TN
Posts: 498
Originally Posted by Stranger On A Train View Post
...Even in a more limited context of just being able to scan a macro scale object in a laboratory and reproduce it by some means at a molecular or atomic level is so vastly beyond even projected technology it may as well be considered magic....
I'm not an expert on Star Trek canon but I believe there was an explanation for this. The simple answer is it was beyond Star Trek technology 200 years hence, and it was alien technology of a vastly more advanced civilization preserved in "stasis boxes". IOW the Star Trek era used transporters as a "black box" without really understanding it.

As you described, the technical challenge of scanning and reproducing on an atomic level a human being would seem to be beyond any projected technology -- even 200 years in the future. Phasers, maybe. Warp drive -- no currently known method but there are obviously glimmerings of of new physics that don't fit into the Standard Model such as dark energy. If our current physics cannot explain what we can currently see, the possibility of an expanded explanation allowing for faster than light travel cannot be ruled out.

OTOH matter teleportation would involve hyper dense, hyper accurate scanning and remote reconstruction of an extremely complex 3D organism. Analogs to MRI or laser scanning are just not remotely in the ballpark. Even postulating transporters as "like that but more advanced" implies a lack of understanding about how complex 3D biological material is.

It would be faintly more plausible if the transporter mechanism was described as some kind of trans-dimensional portal. However it is described as scanning, deconstructing and reconstructing the original biological pattern at a remote location using locally-available matter.

Projecting based on current technology is very inexact but it would appear 200 years would not be nearly sufficient to develop teleportation of biological matter on a human scale. Hence the explanation offered was a far more advanced extinct alien civilization preserved this technology and the Star Trek denizens simply discovered it and were able to make practical use without fully understanding the core method.

Some of this was shown in the Star Trek animated series "The Slaver Weapon".